It is back! It starts with a bang and ends with the best way you could lay a hook for the rest of season.
Starting with Arya basically exterminating the entirety of the Frey family dressed as Walder Frey to lure the entire family in and kill them via poisoning the wine they are drinking. If there is an ever a family you hate so much I am sure this is one way you would dream of causing them pain and suffering. Given the reference to the red wedding on top of that, it reinforces why Arya wanted to kill the entire Frey family is a devious way.
Moving to the north where Jon is thrashing out the method to how to defend the North. The confliction already between him and Sansa becomes apparent quite quickly that both are able to make a decision, and both will clash at times with each other. Setting up, a most likely fallout between the two, whether big or small. My only issue here is that Sansa will probably come across even more whiney and act like a little-spoilt brat in the process, something I hope is avoided but unlikely given how it seems to be going.
Now the juicy bits, the beginning of the end for Cersei and surely Jaime turning on her, which again seems to be the most likely thing to happen. Now, this could end with Cersei killing Jaime, but for those that read the books know that something was cut from the witches prediction at the start of season 5, I am not going to say it. But the end is coming for her, one way or another, and it has got me looking forward to it.
The Hound continues his journey with the brotherhood without banners, but more hooks are within these scenes when the Hound looks into the fire and he does see things, the dead are coming. Now given this has been said since pretty much episode 1 season 1 we just want them to arrive, yet a little snippet scene of the army, and what appears to be never ending army with some giant white walkers, it is only an episode or two away before the wall is knocked and tested.
Moving onto Samwell Tarly, training to be a maester at Oldtown. Here more hooks are dropped, his conversation over the dead corpse asking the maester about the White Walkers, telling him he saw them. But then the big one that a whole mountain of Dragon glass exists underneath Dragonstone. All of these hooks working you into the season even on the first episode.
Finally, she arrives. Daenerys lands at Dragonstone, where Jaime thought she would earlier in the episode. Seeing the interior of Dragonstone more than we did when we saw Stannis. No one speaks until they reach the table map of Westeros and Daenerys says let’s begin. In essence signalling the beginning of the Great War.
This episode pretty much fulfils what needed to happen, lay the hooks in place so all the action can take place in the next 6 episodes, all the meat of the season will now come in the rest of the season. So in those terms, it did what it needed to do.
But given it has another season after this they still need to lay keeps us gripped for it so not everything will be given away in this season, what we will have to wait and see but I expect some massive chin droppers in this season. Maybe not deaths but more traitors turning on people.